This is a very sticky subject, and one that people on both sides feel strongly about. And even though all study the same Scriptures, we come to different conclusions about Godly things. Please be kind and I hope I have been kind as I respond to Melissa's entry about infant baptism at Twaddlemenot . My comment was getting rather lengthy so I thought I'd better us up my space instead of hers. Melissa is a very wise young lady. She has given me much to think about with some of her past entries; however, this is one where we will have to agree to disagree — at least for now.
Shane and I believe the Bible teaches baptism, by immersion at an age when one can understand and commit to the step they are making. An infant cannot choose to follow Christ. Therefore, we disagree with Melissa's conclusions. Although I will admit, that we haven't read the books that Melissa recommended but, we have looked at the evidence she presented from other sources. (R.C. Sproul Jr.). And, I will add, that we are not opposed to changing our mind if we are presented with compelling evidence. We've done it before and I'm certain we'll do it again.
I wholeheartedly agree with the premise that there is much we can learn from the Old Testament. For years, decades, maybe even centuries the universal church has forgotten about the Old Testament. (Except for the “cute” little stories like Noah's Ark and Jonah that can be dumbed down for Sunday school classes.) However, the Old Testament was written to the Jew, not to the Gentile. The Jewish people were the chosen people– all of them. Not just a few. (As a new convert to Reformed theology, I may not get this exactly right, but bear with me). From my new understanding. He would wish that everyone be saved, but He knows that everyone will not be saved. So He calls certain people, not everyone, to himself. In other words, He has mercy on whom He has mercy and hardens who he hardens. If everyone was baptized as an infant, wouldn't this be the opposite of what reformed theology is? If we were able to convert all the adults living today and they all baptized their babies, wouldn't this be working against the reformed free-will view?
We know that the Old Law did not work, so God brought a new law. One that would work, once for all. Not for the Jew alone, but for the chosen ones of God whether Jew or Gentile.
A compelling argument to me is Jesus's example. He was not baptized as an infant, but as an adult. (although, as a Jew, he would have been circumsized). But he was one of those of the chosen race. He needed to be circumsized as the new law did not begin until his resurrection. But John baptized others and Jesus to show it's importance.
Also, I have a hard time swallowing infant baptism when the book of Acts gives no specific account of it happening. Yes, entire households were baptized. But in further study we find that it may or may not have included the babies in the household. In the book of Acts, not long after Jesus is crucified,Peter gives his first sermon. When they ask what to do to be saved he says “repent and be baptized”,
Even John calls those that were coming just to be baptized a “brood of vipers” He told them to “bear fruit in keeping with repentance” (apparently they were not doing this). How can an infant repent of wrongdoing? And talking about Jesus's coming he says “I baptize you with water for repentance, but he who is coming after me is mightier than I, whose sandals I am not worthy to carry.” again, a baby cannot repent of their sins.
We feel strongly that parents should dedicate their child/ren to God's service. This would be the “circumcision” of sorts. Princess and Bubba both had formal ceremonies as the church we attended then understood the importance of raising up Godly seed. Little Bit has not been formally dedicated, but we have prayed over him and dedicated him personally to God's service. (Since he was 3 it was a little more difficult to explain– and the church we were at then would NOT have understood at all!!!) When Tabitha comes home, she will be dedicated as well. But as for all of their own committment to follow Christ, they will have to answer the call from Christ and be baptised for the remission of their sins of their own free-will.